The Pittsburgh Steelers scored a thrilling 23-20 overtime win on the road over the reigning AFC champions Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, but that came at the cost of temporarily losing star linebacker TJ Watt to injury. Watt suffered an upper-body injury that was feared to be a season-ending type. However, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network has reported that the general feeling about Watt is a whole lot better a day after sustaining a pectoral injury.

“Steelers reigning defensive player of the year TJ Watt is still waiting on more information, but the belief is his pectoral injury will not require surgery and is not season-ending, sources tell me and @TomPelissero . He could be back in six weeks or so.”

This is terrific news for the Steelers, especially since TJ Watt is a player whose void is always going to be hard to cover. After all, as underscored by Rapoport, he is the reigning best defensive player in the NFL. In the 2021 NFL season, TJ Watt racked up an astonishing total of 22.5 sacks to go along with 64 combined tackles and 39 quarterback hits. Over a two-year stretch from 2020 to 2021, TJ Watt had accumulated 37.5 total sacks across 30 games. Virtually the only thing that could slow him down is an injury, which he, unfortunately, picked up right in the very first game of the 2022 NFL season.

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Assuming that he’d be back after six weeks, TJ Watt can be expected to return to action on Oct. 23 when the Steelers face off with the Miami Dolphins on the road. The Steelers could also play it much safer by waiting for at least their Week 9 bye to pass before letting him play again.